Go Daddy is an Internet domain registrar and Web hosting company that also sells e-business related software and services. In 2010, it reached more than 45 million domain names under management. Go Daddy is currently the largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, and is four times the size of its closest competitor. Known for its intentionally racy marketing, Go Daddy started advertising in the Super Bowl in 2005. Since then, the company expanded its marketing to include sports sponsorships. Go Daddy filed for an IPO in 2006, but later canceled it, due to “market uncertainties.”
In September 2010 Go Daddy put itself up for auction. Go Daddy called off the auction several weeks later, despite reports that bids exceeded the asking price of $1.5 billion to $2 billion
Go Daddy’s advertising is produced in-house and typically contains sexually suggestive material (with the exception of its NASCAR advertising; the sanctioning body has a policy that censors sexually suggestive ads on cars and television broadcasts). CEO Bob Parsons refers to the marketing as “GoDaddy-esque” which he describes as “fun, edgy, and a bit inappropriate.” Most of Go Daddy’s early television ads starred former WWE Diva Candice Michelle, in some sort of sexual-related theme. She has been referred to as “Miss GoDaddy.com” or “The Go Daddy Girl” by fans and on WWE television shows, where she also does the “Go Daddy Dance” (twirling her arms around her body while slowly turning) as part of her wrestling gimmick.
In 2006, Go Daddy began sponsoring IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, who subsequently joined the “Go Daddy Girl” lineup and began playing a prominent role in the company’s commercials. In March 2009, Go Daddy announced professional poker player Vanessa Rousso as the newest Go Daddy Girl. Vanessa competed in the Go Daddy sponsored NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship the same month, finishing second and making history by being the first woman to make it to the finals. Also in March 2009, Go Daddy added pro-golfer Anna Rawson, bringing the Go Daddy Girl spokeswomen count to four. She is edgy, she is fun, she is hotter than firecrackers, she is very clever and everything we look for in a Go Daddy Girl, CEO Bob Parsons said of Rawson at a news conference in Phoenix. In August 2009 another Go Daddy Girl was announced. A Russian native, Marina Orlova is an online linguist, explaining the origin of words on her HotforWords.com Web site. A New Yorker magazine blogger called her the sexiest philologist in the world.
In 2010, Go Daddy announced it is adding “America’s Toughest Trainer” Jillian Michaels as a Go Daddy Girl. Michaels joins race car driver Danica Patrick as a Go Daddy Girl, a move that CEO Bob Parsons said should attract new customers. Michaels is a well-known celebrity, famous for her role as a health and wellnes coach on NBC’s hit show, “The Biggest Loser.”
An order was placed with Orange County Choppers for a custom bike to raise contributions for charity and was revealed in Miami, Florida, and featured the models Candice and Danica. The episode was documented by the reality show American Chopper episode number 82
In 2011 animal rights groups including PETA complained when a video of Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting and killing an elephant at night in Zimbabwe was made by Parsons and posted on his personal blog. In response, Parsons stated “The tribal authorities request that I and others like me, patrol the fields before and during the harvest”. PETA said they would be closing their account with Go Daddy
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